Bad News For Hillary: Someone At CNN Told Carol Costello To Stop Helping Her, And Clinton’s Talking Points Are Wearing Thin…OK, THINNER

This was fascinating. I was trying to decide whether to post today about the latest spin tactics by Hillary’s minions and her dwindling but still formidable media allies  in light of Clinton’s awkward press conference where she insisted that she didn’t do anything “wrong” regarding the mishandled State e-mails. Earlier in the day the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, a usually decent journalist whom it is sad to see succumbing to the  Clinton Corruption Virus (you would think there would be a vaccine by now!), had used this same talking point—and it is a campaign talking point. In a column that could be used in a public service announcement, Cillizza seriously wondered why Hillary was in trouble. Gee, he mused, maybe Hillary just isn’t very good at campaigning! What else could possibly explain why she isn’t cruising to the nomination?

In other words, the fact that she has lied constantly, used her foundation to profit from influence-seeking foreign powers, was a flop as a Secretary of State, put U.S. security at risk and destroyed potential evidence so she could avoid getting caught in her complex political/financial machinations—Allegedly! Allegedly!—wouldn’t matter at all to Democrats, voters or Chris if she was just better at fooling the public. Darn!

“This is Chris, and this is the tragedy of Clinton Corruption Syndrome. Won’t you help?”

Then he wrote, “The appearance here — even if Clinton did nothing wrong (and there is no proof she did at this point) — is terrible.”

What? WHAT? Of course she did things that were wrong. Isn’t lying like crazy wrong, Chris? Isn’t paying people to throw the media off the track and confuse the public using deceit and misrepresentations wrong, Chris?  Isn’t the tactic of smearing the messengers wrong, and sending out statements like the infamous “nonsense” letter wrong? Is intentionally breaking your own Department’s policies wrong? Is sending and receiving sensitive information in a manner that makes it vulnerable to hacking by foriegn governments wrong, Chris? Do you even know what wrong means any more, Chris?

That’s when it hit me, and that’s why I decided I had to post, again, on the Hillary Clinton E-mail Ethics Train Wreck, which is really just part of the The Hillary Clinton Presidential Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck. The Clinton campaign’s current strategy is now to make the public understand right and wrong the way the Clintons do. If it isn’t illegal, it isn’t wrong. (This is on the Ethics Alarms Rationalization list, incidentally: #4. Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.” Marion Berry went to jail.)

Talk about waving a red flag in front of an ethicist! Continue reading

KABOOM! Sen. McCaskill Disgraces Herself On National Television

head blowsWhat a horrible thing for a U.S. Senator to inflict on her state. Brains must have been splattering all over ceilings, furniture, family members and TV screens during her excruciating live interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”  There she was, a member of the U.S. Senate representing the great state of Missouri, grinning like a zany and spewing the Clinton campaign’s desperate talking points—from March!—falsely and insultingly insisting that in maintaining a secret and non-conforming private e-mail server while Secretary of State that, as Democratic hack Donna Brazile said later on a truncated round table, that Clinton did nothing wrong.

Just violating policy, being irresponsible, placing official data in jeopardy, destroying potential evidence, and lying about it, but nothing wrong...

“This is a partisan witch hunt!” said Senator McCaskill. Hillary has been forthcoming and complied with every request! She wasn’t the first Secretary of State to use private e-mail! The materials weren’t classified when she had them! There’s no indication she had a motive to expose national secrets! (This is a new one on the talking points list and an audacious straw man. Nobody has argued that Clinton was a spy or committing treason; what she did was place State Department communications at risk to hackers and exposure for her own protection and advantage.) Then McCaskill paraphrased the “let’s change the subject” talking point we have heard now almost verbatim from Clinton and her surrogates: “Hillary Clinton is a fighter, and she will fight through this and continue fighting for Americans”—all while smiling madly as if the whole thing was a big joke, since it all is “nonsense.” Continue reading

Ten Ethics Questions For Unshakable Hillary Voters

casual woman - no evil

Jamelle Bouie, Slate regular, can’t imagine Democrats voting for a Republican over Hillary just because she jeopardized national security, flouted her own department’s policies, destroyed evidence, and has lied about both her conduct and its significance continually. “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski said yesterday that she is offended at Clinton’s lies about her e-mail, and is insulted that Hillary thinks that the American public is “that stupid.” She then said “If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I would vote for her,” thus proving that she, at least, is exactly as stupid as Hillary thinks she is. Then, of course, we have Paul Begala, who memorably said, “Voters do not give a shit. They do not even give a fart… Find me one persuadable voter who agrees with HRC on the issues but will vote against her because she has a non-archival-compliant email system and I’ll kiss your ass in Macy’s window and say it smells like roses.” (I keep quoting this because it perfectly embodies the level of ethical character (that is, 0)  of political operatives and the contempt in which they hold their prey, American citizens.). Then, on the recent post about ethics corruption and Clinton, regular commenter Beth wrote, speaking for informed, intelligent Democrats,

“..we’ll still vote for her in the main election over a Republican who will push for policy positions that we are against.”

I am not picking on Beth, whom I respect and consider a friend, but this is fascinating and alarming to me. She is a mother, and thus committed to teacher her children ethical values;  she is a lawyer, and she understands, for example, that destroying material you know is likely to be subpoenaed is unethical and often criminal. She does not approve of lying. Yet she expects none of this to deter her and other  intelligent Democrats from voting for Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic Party obviously is counting on this kind of reasoning, or they would not be offering such a corrupt, damaged, untrustworthy candidate. Indeed, I sense that the Beth Block doesn’t want to hear or read about Hillary’s slimy activities, because it makes them feel ashamed about what they think they will do two Novembers from now.

It should make them feel ashamed.

I wonder, though: how far will they go with this unethical and irresponsible logic? Thus I have these ten questions for them… Continue reading

The Clinton E-Mail Scandal, Part One: Ethics Corrupter For President! Her Campaign’s “Nonsense” Memo

I'm just making an analogy here--I'm not saying those tentacle-shooting vamps in The Strain are Clinton supporters. That doesn't mean they aren't, though...

I’m just making an analogy here–I’m not saying those tentacle-shooting vamps in The Strain are Clinton supporters. That doesn’t mean they aren’t, though…

Portraying the currently developing scandal regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails while Secretary of State as just politics and the “kind of nonsense” that “comes with the territory,” Clinton flack Jennifer Palmieri  sent out a detailed message to Clinton supporters and Democrats. It is designed to mislead them about the critical issues raised by this matter, which are certainly not nonsense, to coordinate with the news media, which is trying desperately and unsuccessfully to embargo this story because it is damaging to Democrats (more on this in Part Two), to make the public dumber about how leadership and government works, and to provide slick rationalizations to those Clinton supporters inclined to be part of the disinformation campaign.

This is sinister and disgusting stuff, the essence of ethics corruption. For an unethical leader, like Clinton, to gain power, she must make a large proportion of the public insensitive or outright ignorant of basic ethical principles, and, if possible, as unethical as possible. The effort to trivialize this serious example of what’s so wrong with Hillary Clinton as just another “vast right wing conspiracy” is part of this process. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Slate Writer Jamelle Bouie

hillary-clinton-winking“Barring an indictment for criminal behavior, Hillary Clinton, if she’s the Democratic nominee, will not lose the 2016 presidential election because of her emails. To think so, or to think they’ll change the race, is to say that scandal will override partisanship; that an otherwise liberal voter will walk into the ballot booth and mark the box for Jeb Bush or Gov. Scott Walker or Sen. Marco Rubio because of digital mismanagement. I liked what Clinton said about early childcare, thinks our hypothetical voter, but sending government email on a private server makes her unfit for the White House.”

—–Slate’s resident racial-distrust monger, Jamelle Bouie, writing about how Hillary Clinton’s still unfolding e-mail scandal will affect her candidacy.

What a cynical and frightening attitude to  express  about one’s own ideological kith!

Could he be right? The typical progressive/liberal/Democrat sees the blatant lies of Hillary Clinton exposed, that she deliberately risked national security, deliberately breached her own department’s and the Obama administration’s policy, falsely denied that any laws or regulations were involved, disingenuously said her conduct was no different from other officials, destroyed e-mails knowing they were about to be subpoenaed in a Congressional investigation, placed national secrets at risk, described the process of unraveling her deceptions and incompetence as “fun,” sent out one surrogate after another to obfuscate and deny the facts and the truth, and repeatedly lied about the matter herself, following a well-established pattern that already causes most of the nation to regard her as untrustworthy, and still that typical progressive/liberal/Democrat will say, “Hey, I like what she said about early child care, so what difference does it make that she’s devious, dishonest, incompetent,  possibly criminal, reckless and thinks the public is made up of dupes?”

Really? Really? REALLY???

Who are these creatures, and how did they get this way? Are all Democrats this completely unconcerned about character and ethics, or is Bouie, who obviously is, just projecting his own crippling ethics rot on others?

That does it.

I’m heading for the bridge…

 Update: A rather more rational and less depressing analysis from Ron Fournier, who, unlike Jamelle, doesn’t try to spin Clinton’s conduct as “digital mismanagement.”

 

“You Know I Can’t Hear You With All Those Ethics Alarms Ringing”: Hillary Clinton’s CNN Interview

Hillary_Clinton_2016

The frightening thing—it should frighten Democrats more than anyone, but if they have let Hillary get this far, they may be beyond frightening—is that Hillary Clinton had a long time to prep for this interview—her first substantive one since announcing her candidacy, about five or six scandals ago—had a hand-picked, friendly interviewer, was not pressed to clarify any of her non-answers, obfuscations or incomprehensible blather, and she still came off looking defensive, evasive, and basically like Tommy Flanagan in drag.

Ethics Alarms were ringing so loudly that the interview was almost inaudible. My observations in bold….

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Secretary Clinton, thank you so much for talking to us today.  You’re here in Iowa for a couple of events.  You’re the front-runner in this state but we’re also seeing Bernie Sanders attract a lot of attention.  He has had big crowds here, 10,000 people in Wisconsin last week, 7,500 people in Maine last night. Why is it, do you think, that someone who is a self-described Democratic socialist is really attracting this organic interest that your campaign seems to be struggling a little bit with?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  Well, first of all, I always thought this would be a competitive race.  So I am happy to have a chance to get out and run my campaign as I see fit and let other candidates do exactly the same.

Non-responsive. Also a lie: Clinton has always assumed she could get the nomination by just showing up.

I feel very good about where we are in Iowa.  We are signing up thousands of volunteers, people committed to caucus for us.  We have a committed supporter in every one of the 1,600 precincts.  And one of the things that I learned last time is it’s organize, organize, organize.  And you’ve got to get people committed.  And then they will follow through and then you bring more people.

Non-responsive.

So I feel very good about where my campaign is.  It’ll be three months and a few days that we’ve been at this.  I think I’ve learned a lot from listening to people in Iowa.  And it’s actually affected what I say and what I talk about on the campaign trail.

Non-responsive.

So I couldn’t be happier about my campaign.

Non-responsive. Pretending to open yourself to a candid question and answer session and then refusing to answer the very first question while pretending you did: Dishonest. Disrespectful.

KEILAR:  Senator Sanders  has talked about how, if he’s president, he would raise taxes.  In fact, he said to CNN’s Jake Tapper, he would raise them substantially higher than they are today, on big corporations, on wealthy Americans. Would you?

CLINTON:  I will be laying out my own economic policies.  Again, everybody has to run his or her own campaign.  And I’m going to be telling the American people what propose and how I think it will work and then we’ll let voters make up their minds.

“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself actually let voters know what I stand for. After all, I’m a vagina. That’s what really matters.”

KEILAR:  Is raising taxes on the table?

CLINTON:  I’m going to put out my policies and I’ll other people speak to their policies because I think we have to both grow the economy faster and fairer so we have to do what will actually work in the short term, the medium term and the long term.  I will be making a speech about my economic proposals on Monday.  And then I look forward to the debate about them.

If Clinton made a speech Monday (July 7) about specific economic proposals, she did it in her closet, because all anyone actually heard was this.

KEILAR:  I’m wondering if you can address a vulnerability that we’ve seen you dealing with recently.  We see in our recent poll that nearly six in 10 Americans say they don’t believe that you’re honest and trustworthy. Do you understand why they feel that way?

CLINTON:  Well, I think when you are subjected to the kind of constant barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the Right and –

The vast right wing conspiracy again! Ironic, because one very good reason people shouldn’t, and  many sane people actually do not, trust Hillary is when she made teh same accusation on the Today Show to Matt Lauer, claiming that the Monica Lewinsky scandal had been “largely fomented by and coming from the Right,” when in fact she knew otherwise and was lying for her husband.

KEILAR:  But do you bear any responsibility for that?

CLINTON:  – well, I – you know, I can only tell you that I was elected twice in New York against the same kind of onslaught.

“I got away with it before, didn’t I?” Continue reading

Unethical Clinton Quote Of The Week: Hillary Clinton

“I have said repeatedly: I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do…[A]nything that [the State Department] might do to expedite that process, I heartily support.”

—Hillary Clinton, lying her head off and, as usual, assuming nobody will notice,but, to be fair, being funnier than usual.

I’m sorry…is there a typo in that headline? Is my description overly arch? There answers are “no” and “yes, but I can’t stand much more of this.”

I think we are at the point where Clinton’s campaign has become a national ethics, integrity and intelligence test for the media, pundits, your friends and family members, and especially for Clinton supporters. For the Clintons, it’s a matter of how gutsy they can get in saying ridiculous things they know are ridiculous and expecting everyone to shrug it off…except those bad conservatives, Republicans and Clinton haters, of course. You can recognize them by the fact that they don’t shrug those statements off with a smile and a “That’s our Bill!” or “Don’t talk to my brain about the election, I’m voting with my vagina!”

The tipping point for me came a long time ago, but for anyone late to the party and capable of fair thought, it should at least have occurred when Bill Clinton justified his continued acceptance of obscene speaking fees (from likely corporate supplicants for U.S. favors and bounty after his wife becomes President) by saying “I gotta pay the bills!” This is just rubbing the public’s face in Clinton’s shamelessness, greed and corruption, and expecting everyone to like it.

Do you like it? If so, I’m disgusted with you.

The quote above by Hillary was just as outrageous; it just wasn’t quite as funny. (I’m saying that analytically: I am no longer capable of laughing at this kind of stuff from either Bill or Hillary, and I find my friends’ willingness to tolerate it tragic and diminishing.) To appreciate just how outrageous, you have to understand that it comes in the wake of the State Department announcing that it would take at least until January of 2016 to release the official emails that Hillary Clinton had to hand over because she used her own personal email server while Secretary of State in violation of government policies, including her own agency’s. (These weren’t all the e-mails, you’ll recall. She decided which she wanted the nation to see, and destroyed many thousands of them that she didn’t want to be seen, just in time to stop them from being subpoenaed.)

As State explained  in excruciating  detail, the process will take a long time because (other than the fact that the current leadership of the State Department doesn’t especially want those e-mails released either) “the Department received the 55,000 pages in paper form. The documents were provided in twelve bankers’ boxes (approximately 24” x 15” x 10 ¼” in size) with labels placed on the outside of the boxes that corresponded approximately to the time frame of the documents within a given box.”

Tech Dirt, which is not a political site and certainly not an ideological one, is falling all over itself guffawing about this and Clinton’s response to it:

“You know what would have expedited the release? First, using the State Department’s own email system while you were Secretary of State, so this wouldn’t have even been an issue. And, second, when all of this became an issue handing over the emails in electronic form, rather than in printed form in a bunch of boxes. [T] he way that Clinton has handled this whole thing is really ridiculous. Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to print out 55,000 pages of records that were original electronic unless you’re trying to hide stuff and make life difficult for those going through it?…”

Continue reading

“Hillary Clinton’s Honesty Called Into Question In New Poll”…Wait, Why Is There Any “Question”?

 According to a recent AP-GFK poll, 61 percent of those surveyed—that’s only 61%—said “honest” describes Hillary Clinton only slightly well or not at all. Nearly four in 10 Democrats, and more than six in 10 independents agreed that “honest” was not the best word for her.

Gee, really?

This raises several important questions, such as..

1. What the heck is the matter with the 39% that would ever use “honest” in the same sentence as “Clinton”?

2. How much  is necessary to convince the nearly 70% of Democrats that unequivocal proof of habitual lying, violating signed pledges and dodging rules is indisputable indicia that one of their darlings is untrustworthy?

3. Why aren’t those Democrats embarrassed for their Party?

4. Why do they have so little respect for the nation?

5. How stupid does the  Democratic Party think voters are?

Last week, while the poll was being prepared for release, Vox, a reliable progressive mouthpiece that still has a greater capacity for integrity than 70% of their editors’ favorite political party, revealed that least 181 companies, individuals, and foreign governments gave to the Clinton Foundation and also lobbied the State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

After a staggering chart of all the cash that nobody can prove was part of a quid pro quo understanding but which almost certainly was, Vox concludes, “That’s not illegal, but it is scandalous.”

Of course it is scandalous.

It also violates federal law. Continue reading

Judges At Work

Supreme Court protests

In the threads here stemming from Judge Kopf’s impolite and unprofessional verbiage directed at the Supreme Court, some members of the Nebraska federal jurist’s fan club have sought to justify his incivility by asserting that the judicial system itself is “broken,” and that, more specifically, judges ought to just concern themselves with judicial errors of their lower court colleagues and eschew political controversies, such as, I must presume based on the context of the judge’s compliant, when the other branches of the government break laws and violate constitutional principles.

To say that I’m cynical about this argument understates the case.What it means, I believe, is that members of one partisan orientation believe that the system is broken as long as judges who do not share their progressive biases are in a position to rule on various controversies where judicial intervention is necessary and appropriate, but will no longer be considered “broken” once progressive-minded jurists are in a position to do the intervening, whereupon the critics like Judge Kopf will drop their objections.

The fact that the system is not “broken” and that judges are doing their jobs when called upon to protect the public from abuse of power was illustrated by two events this week: Continue reading

Ethics Hero Emeritus: Senator Howard Baker (1925-2014)

Howard_Baker

Howard H. Baker Jr., a three-term Tennessee Senator whose trademarks were integrity, honesty, and a refusal to allow partisanship get in the way of what he believed was the right thing to do, died today.  The Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky,  called him “one of the Senate’s most towering figures.” How ironic, or perhaps just insincere. If McConnell understood and admired the qualities that made Baker “towering” he couldn’t possibly be the divisive, petty, ultra-partisan hack that he is. Then again, comparing Baker’s career and character to the scrimy, petty, self-centered and ethics-challenged dwarves that make up all of McConnell’s colleagues  in both Houses and on both sides of the aisle reveals such an obvious disparity that even the sorry likes of McConnell couldn’t deny it.

Howard Baker stands especially tall in my memory as I watch the disgraceful conduct of House Democrats, doing all they could to derail the I.R.S scandal hearings and to prevent the uncovering of facts surrounding the executive branch’s abuse of power, because they have chosen political loyalty and expediency over transparency, fairness, duty to country, and trust. Contrast this horror show with the principled stance of Baker during Watergate, seeking uncomfortable truths rather than throwing obstacles in the way of efforts to uncover them, treating abuse of power and attempted cover-ups from his own party’s President as he would the same from a Democrat, asking the famous question, “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” Continue reading